Anything Photoshop or Photography

Posts tagged “mirror effect

How to Get a Little Symmetry – Easily!

Monarch Butterflies using Symmetry PSD fileThis week I am just going to show just a short little trick. Alex DuKal did a post called Real Time Symmetry in Photoshop CS6 and John Nack picked it up on his Adobe blog (see Symmetrical drawing in Photoshop). Alex uses Smart Objects to create layer symmetry in Photoshop. There are roughly 11 steps to creating the above effect, but John Nack on his blog link above has created a free Photoshop PSD file to use so you do not have to go through all the steps in the video. Basically just open up the top Smart Object and add your image or texture, then CTRL+S to save the update and you get a perfect mirror of your image. The pix above used two different Monarch butterfly images recently shot. The sideways butterfly was brought into the top Smart Object file that once updated, created the mirror image. For more post-processing info, check out Image 1 at end of blog. I add this info so that you can find resources if you like some of the effects – you don’t have to follow along on all the details.
Image created using brushes and Symmetry fileThis basic image was created for a my Create a Winter Scene with Photoshop Brushes and Textures blog – check it out for the details on brushes used. The two deer are from Shadowhouse Creations Rural Objects Brush Set. Same process as above to get the mirror effect.
Image of painted fish using Symmetry fileOK – this was one I was totally just playing around and having some fun doing – I jokingly say this is my Bunny Rabbit from the Hat – he is looking down on the fish with two of the fish hatching out of the bowl! The Symmetry really brought out an interesting story! For info on how this image was created, see Image 3 below.

This is really a fun application to try. It takes a minute to see what type of image would look good mirrored, but if you don’t like it, just don’t used the PSD file. I did a blog called Instant Mirror and Quick Mirror for Photoshop a while back that gives some different symmetry effects. If you want to try something a little different, download Alex’s file and give it a try. It can actually give some different results that you just might like!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Take the Time to Experiment!
Digital Lady Syd’s Rule No. 1: Take the Time to Experiment!
A Little Kaleidoscope Fun!


Image 1: Just the basic sliders were used in Lightroom along with the Adjustment Brush to sharpen and add clarity to the butterfly. Once in Photoshop, the image was taken into the PSD file. This image was opened up in the Smart Object and some clean up was done on the image. Also 2 Lil’ Owls Studio The Artisan Collection Big Set 2-Texture 2 (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) was added twice as an overlay texture that I created (see my  blog). The Smart Object was saved and back in the main file, a stamped layer was created on top (CTLR+ALT+SHIFT+E). Next another butterfly image was opened in Lightroom, settings from original image copies, and opened in Photoshop. The butterfly was selected from the image and brought in as a layer to the symmetry layer. It was turned into a Smart Object and the Camera Raw filter was opened to make this butterfly really look the same as the other one. Another stamped layer and another Smart Object was applied. This time Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 was opened and the Favorites Pencil Sketch preset was selected with no changes. This layer was set to 81% opacity. Next French Kiss Studio 3 White Wash texture (my very favorite texture) was added and set to Linear Burn blend mode. In the Layer Style the This Layer black tab was set to 223 and the Advanced Blending Fill Opacity was set to 68%. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to adjust contrast. Another stamped layer was created and then Topaz Black & White Effects 2 (see website link in sidebar of my Tidbits Blog). A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was added to adjust the color saturation.

Image 3: This is one of the strangest progression of an image I have ever done! It actually started out with Painted Textures Spring Sky that I turned into a black and white texture in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. Then I stacked Painted Textures Summer Balloons texture and the white color was removed using an action called Mikes3D Kill White so the black level showed through in the white areas (note: to use this filter the best way, you must use Pixel Bender in CS5 – it is still the best for removing all the white and worth the time to do this). A Levels Adjustment Layer was added on top to add a little contrast. After that various layers were added using regular brushes like Nagel Series 41 Charcoal brushes. Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was used to change the image to blue and purple colors. These filters were stacked: Detail Extractor set to 71% and Large Effect Radius; and Infrared Film set to Method 3. Next the image was duplicated and taken into Nik HDR Pro 2 using a preset I had created earlier and brought out more of the dark tones in the texture. The wonderful Fay Sirkis o3 Palette Knife Blender Brush was used to just start mixing on the texture and creating these funny little creatures. (This is one of the great brushes that can be downloaded for use with her Four Seasons painting online training classes on NAPP – she teaches you how to use this brush in her great Four Seasons painting series Fall training class on NAPP.) Several layers were created with more colors and blending until I got this childlike painting. Water Bubbles by millertimesu Brush 3 was used to created the bubbles on a separate layer. A composite was created on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and this layer was taken into Topaz Simplify using the Color Sketch II preset. It was filled with black and the just the objects were painted back to get some lines in the underwater creatures. The last step involved add 2 Lil’ Owls (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) Color Bokeh Grunge Set retro cool overlay set to 27% layer opacity. This is the end of the basic image. Once this image was put into the Symmetry file, French Kiss Artiste Autumn Fauve was added on top and set to Saturation blend mode at 83% layer opacity to brighten up the whole image. This whole image was created from a couple textures and was major fun to do!

Take the Time to Experiment!

Just had some fun experimenting this week and came up with these images.  For the above I love the way the texture and color and abstract form compliment each other. I started out with a very over-exposed image of two pink grocery tulips – I was actually experimenting with my shutter settings on my camera when I shot this image. (See top image in photo below.) I do not know why I decided to use this image but it just looked so different – a few adjustments were made to the RAW file in Lightroom following my blog workflow in How to Use Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) or Lightroom 4 Quickly before opening it in Photoshop. (See bottom image in the photo below.) I wanted to try out some of my new watercolor brushes (here is a download link) I made in my How to Turn a Brush into a Watercolor Brush blog. Following this blog’s basic workflow the layer was duplicated and, instead of selecting the flowers, this top layer’s blend mode was set to Darken so the white disappears. On a New Layer set between the Background layer and duplicated layer, I selected SJ Watercolor Erodible 2 brush set to 250 pixels and a blue color where the watercolor background was painted in. A Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer was clipped (ALT+click between the layers to clip) to the blue watercolor layer to change it to the purplish color. Since I only want to change the flowers, the top layer was highlighted and Topaz (see sidebar for website link at my Tidbits Blog) Simplify 4 plug-in was opened. The Oil Painted Tone I preset was applied as is. Back in Photoshop a Curves Adjustment Layer was added for a little more contrast to make the background stand out more. The center image below is where I was at in the workflow at this stage.
I decided to try just one more thing so a composite layer was created (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) of all layers. I opened up Topaz photoFXLab (this is the new Topaz interface to access the different plug-ins quickly) since I was not sure where I was going with the image. First I went into Topaz Adjust 5 and applied the Spicify preset – it looked great! I created a Stamped (same as a composite) layer in the plug-in and opened Topaz Lens Effects to see what a Fisheye effect would do – it did not look good so I started trying out the other lens effects. I ended up in the Lens-Split Prism section. After clicking on all the presets, I liked the Seven Way Split Prism with changes. (I changed the Mixing Level to .50, Radius to .42, Rotation to 83.76 and left at Type I.) Back in photoFXLab I created another stamped layer and in the Adjustments tab, the Saturation slider was set to -37 and my favorite Dynamics slider to +27. Another stamped layer and Topaz Simplify4 was opened where one of my old presets I call Factory HDR Look was applied. (The settings are Simplify section: YCbCr Colorspace, Simplify Size .52, Feature Boost 3, Details Strength 1.51, Details Boost 1.27, Details Size .62, Remove Small 0, and Remove Weak 0.16; Adjust section – Brightness .01, Contrast 1.07, Saturation 1.93, Saturation Boost .97, Dynamics 0, Structure 1.0, Structure Boost 1.00; Edges section – Edge Type MonoEdge – Fine, Edge Strength 4.47, Simplify Edge .39, Reduce Weak 7.78, Reduce Small 0.07, and Fatten Edge 4.11. In Finishing Touches section the Transparency was set to .53 – it made the flowers pop!) I decided this was enough photo manipulation. Back in Photoshop I wanted the tulips a different color than the actual reddish pink they were. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was used to turn them into the purple colors. (The settings were for Reds Hue to -97, Saturation to -38 and Lightness to +14; the Yellows Saturation was changed to -21; and the Greens Hue to -124 and Saturation to -29.) Totally changed the image. I used 2 Lil Owls (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) Texture 4 from their Texture Workshop E-Book bundle set to Darken blend mode to remove the white center to create a border, and then turned the frame color to white by clipping a white Color Fill Adjustment Layer to the texture (ALT+click between the layers to clip). A final Curves Adjustment Layer was added just to even out contrast.
This is another image that I had to really fiddle around with to get something interesting. I liked the different plants in the image – it was taken while in my car at a stop light outside a shopping center. The original image is seen below.
I got the idea for the initial steps to this image from a very creative book I just purchased by Theresa Airey called Digital Photo Art New Directions. In it she uses a program called Akvis Sketch to create some effects on her images. With the new Topaz Simplify 4 Sketch section, it seemed reasonable to me that it could be used in the same way. It worked! This image started off using Topaz Adjust Mild Detail preset on a duplicate background layer. This layer was duplicated and Topaz Simplify 4 was opened to the Sketch section Hard Pencil II preset and adjustments were made to the preset. (All sections but Edges were turned off (here area the slider settings:  MonoEdge Fine, Edge Strength 5.00, Simplify Edge .40, Reduce Weak .54, Reduce Small .52, and Flatten Edge 0). In Photoshop a composite layer of just the Topaz Adjust layer and the background  (turn off the Simplify 4 layer by clicking on the eyeball in the Layers Panel) and highlight the two remaining layers – CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E. On this layer Topaz Simplify 4 was applied again but this time the Pastel preset was used.  (These settings were changed: Simplify Section –  YCbCr, Simplify Size  0.27, Details Boost  1.00, Details Size  .20, Remove Small  0.10, and Remove  Weak  0.31; Adjust Section  – Brightness  0.10, Contrast  1.48, Saturation  1.70, Saturation Boost  1.24 , Dynamics  0.36, Structure  3.33, and Structure Boost  0.67; Finishing Touches, turned on the Tone section – Tone Strength  0.46; and Local Adjustments – painted back the yellow flowers and a little of the pink and whitish leaves  using a .37 opacity brush). This layer was placed below the sketched layer and set to 73% opacity.) The Sketch Layer should be placed above the Simplify Pastel preset layer, turned on, set to Multiply blend mode to get rid of the white area, and set to 73% opacity. A new Composite layer was created using all the layers. A clean up layer was added to get rid of distracting areas. I decided I needed to fill the lower center area so I copied the purple pansies in the center, warped them and changed flowers to pink. Next I used a program that I have always loved but do not use a lot – The Plugin Galaxy – which has this marvelous Mirror Effect plugin. It was set to Vertical Right – then you can drag in the interface by right clicking and dragging to get very different results. I dragged all the way left for my final image above, but below is a screen shot dragging almost all the way right.
Since I wanted the pink hyacinth back in the image, I added a layer mask to the mirrored layer and used a black brush to paint back the pink flower and the side. A PNG filter similar to my SJ PNG Borders was added and a Gradient Overlay using the Pastel Grunge gradient (free from Graphix1 A White Shade of Pale Gradients set) at 130% scale at -112 degrees was added to create the pink to green frame effect. It took a while to do but the results are very nice and interesting.

Digital Lady Syd’s Rule No. 1: Take the time to Experiment! – Definitely paid off in this instance. Hope the workflow did not put you to sleep but I wanted to show how you can create some very interesting effects by just experimenting a little. In both cases Topaz Simplify 4 was applied twice using different presets for each image. Really liked the final results and they are  something unique and truly mine!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd’s Review of Topaz photoFXlab v1.1
Instant Mirror and Quick Mirror for Photoshop

Instant Mirror and Quick Mirror for Photoshop

Continuing on my current trend of looking into the various Photoshop plug ins available, I decided to explore the mirror effect.  I could only find three filters available.   Let’s start with the Mirror effect that is part of The PlugIn Galaxy 2.01.  This filter was originally called Instant Mirror in version 1.0, so I will keep this name to distinguish it from the others.   A demo, which displays print throughout the image, can be downloaded but is fully functional so you get a real feel how the filter works is available at  The Plugin Site.  There are 17 effects in this bundle that includes this one.  The really cool thing about Instant Mirror is that when applied,  it does change instantly -no waiting around or increasing canvas size.  And the resulting effects are pretty amazing.  Here are a few results of what can be achieved with very little effort.

The above image is a bush and mountains on Hana Highway that was taken on the back dry side of Maui, Hawaii. This is a pretty basic application of the filter – applied Mirror set to Vertical Left. The whole trick to this filter is that by right clicking and dragging on the center (+) mark, the best effects are achieved. A Nik’s Color Efex Pro Glamour Glow filter (Glow 63, Sat 27, Glow Temp 40) to make the bushes stand out more and OnOne PhotoFrame (Dave Cross 01) were applied to finish up the image.

For this image Instant Mirror was run in the Manual Mode (there are four different modes to try), setting the image to Horizontal Top, and Right Click dragging the (+).  I exited out of the filter and ran it again using Vertical Right and dragging the (+). A layer mask was applied so the leaves at the top left showed through from the layer below. I finished up with Topaz Simplify Sketch Hard Pencil effect. There is a book called “Photoshop Plug-ins” by Jim Zuckerman and Scott Stulberg that does a great job of discussing this filter in detail.

With this spica image, the Mirror Preset called Kaleidoscope No. 08 was applied to create the border. Kaleidoscope Vertical was applied next for the plant effect. Finally Topaz Detail was used to bring out the color and detail in the image.

The second mirror plug in is a free download and called Quick Mirror by Julia World.  The thing I like about Quick Mirror is the images are not distorted at all.   It is basically just a flip {that can be done in Photoshop with a Free Transform) but it is easy and more effects can be generated by selecting different part of the image.  Once again I used my London Eye image.  The basic steps to for using this filter are:   Duplicate the layer you are mirroring, create a selection around the areas you want to duplicate (I used the Rectangular Marquee Tool and made my selection from top to bottom around The Eye),  invert the selection (CTRL+ALT+I), erase selection (BACKSPACE), deselect the selection, and run the filter.  In this case, a layer mask was then added to give less of a total duplication look on the bottom and upper left.

This last London Eye image shows a creative effect that can be achieved by using the steps above but making the selection just around The Eye itself. Continue along with inverting the selection and deleting, deselecting and applying the filter. It is a pretty simple workflow to achieve very nice results – and it is FREE!  I also used Nik Color Efex Pro Reflector Filter (Gold, Light Itensity 64, Light Falloff 42, Position 48, Source Direction 0).

The last plug in I will mention is called Filters Unlimited 2.0 – a fully functional demo with 150+ effects can be downloaded but the results cannot be applied (the full version has over 350 filters).  There is a setting called Tiles and Mirrors with several different kaleidoscope and mirrored effects.  I used my original The Eye image and applied the Seamless Blend (horizontal) to the image.  The results gave great looking clouds but the fine lines were not clear, sort of a ghosting effect.  I do believe it is not that bad an effect, just not as good as the other two filters discussed.  My personal opinion is that both the Instant Mirror and Quick Mirror are great plug ins and easy to use.  You get more options with Instant Mirror but more distortion to the image when you use it.  Quick Mirror is pretty basic but gives great undistorted results.

Once again, this has been a blast putting this blog together.  There are so many effects with these filters that I did not cover.  Hope I can get time to play some more with these plug ins!